|Tonkatsu Salad with Asian Slaw|
As you can imagine, I get a lot of requests for recipes here at Pacific Grill.
& lime zest & juices, sugar & black pepper into a food processor and purée
until creamy about 1 min
Find some ripe melons at your grocery store or local Farmer’s Market. Papaya is particularly delicious in this tropical Thai-inspired salad.
The other day I chopped some crisp juicy watermelon into large cubes, added some cantaloupe and ripe orange-fleshed honeydew melon. Then I added some halved grape tomatoes, and avocado. The tomato is really delicious with the melons.
For a little spice I chopped a jalapeño –including seeds–and added some peeled and minced fresh gingerroot, chopped green onion, fresh spearmint and cilantro to the fruits. Next I carefully tossed the fruits with a good amount of a good quality fruity vinegar. Raspberry vinegar is good, or white balsamic. Add a little salt to taste and squeeze some fresh lime juice. If you want to play up the tropical inspiration find and add some chopped kaffir lime leaf to the salad.
You can turn the salad into more of a main course with the addition of some salad shrimp if you like.
Refrigerate for a little while to allow the flavors to blend, and serve well-chilled. Delicious and beautiful it will be the hit of your next summer barbecue.
My Great Grandmother Cassidy lived in a beautiful antebellum-style home near the state capitol in Olympia. The front yard was dominated by a gigantic Bing cherry tree. As children we used to go visit Grandma Cassidy and I couldn’t wait to climb the stairs to the grand second level porch, and reach out and pick some juicy black-red cherries. My brothers and I would try and see who could spit the pits the farthest off the balcony towards the street below. Sadly, after Grandma sold the property to the state, her beautiful mansion was torn down–along with that huge Bing cherry tree, to make room for more state government buildings.
Several years ago when I was chef of this beautiful restaurant Rix in Santa Monica CA, we came up with a great summer-y salad using Bing cherries–and we named it “Cherry Love”.
The salad is on our menu now, and is very popular with our guests. It consists of baby spinach leaves, feta cheese, sweet Walla Walla onions, roasted pistachio nuts, and a vinaigrette that we make from the cherries.
A new dish we have been featuring is Chef Ian’s Tomato “Confit”.
As you may know confit is a French word meaning “preserved” and usually is used to describe a slow cooking technique whereby a tough cut of fowl such as a duck leg or goose was cooked slowly in its own fat, and then sealed in this fat to protect it from decomposing, and could be cellared before refrigeration was invented, for many months without spoiling.
Confit can also be seen in the word confiture which tranlates as a preserve in the sense of a jam or jelly is preserved with extra sugar added to protect it also from spoilage.
As most of you know–salads and vinaigrettes can be a real wine buster–the residual vinegar remaining in your mouth and tongue ruins the wine’s balance, and making the wine seem overly acidic and undrinkable.
I came up with a roasted grape salad, using the grape’s own juices collected after roasting and making a mild grape vinaigrette and scraping a vanilla pod also into the vinaigrette for added richness and buttery-ness to try and mimic a flavor profile found in wine.
The acid in the grapes after roasting were tamed and enriched, and the grape flavor enhanced, but still had enough acid to make the vinaigrette not too cloying.
For a crouton I love grilled bread. I took a variety of cheeses and blended them with a bit of white wine and garlic and pureed it in the food processor, then thickly slavered the cheese onto the grilled bread and toasted the cheese in the oven until gooey and caramelized.
This combination of flavors was delicious with the wine–and curiously–with either a red or a white.